American Red Cross National Headquarters

The American Red Cross, the nation's largest official relief organization, is headquartered on this property.

The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1900. The building was built as a memorial to the women of the Civil War thanks to U.S. and private funds. It exemplifies the McMillan Plan's emphasis on development facing the Ellipse.

Built in 1915-1917 with designs of architects A. Breck Trowbridge and Goodhue Livingston, the Red Cross headquarters features Classical Revival facades of white marble with front and side porticoes, Corinthian columns, a balustraded attic, a hipped roof, and tall chimneys. The interior includes a monumental stair hall, assembly hall with Tiffany stained glass, and a museum.

The complementary north building was built 1928‑1929; the west building was built in 1931.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: October 15, 1966
National Historic Landmark: June 23, 1965



430 17th Street, NW